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Five shortest first innings in Test cricket history

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Test cricket has been a mainstay for many of the more prominent cricketing nations over the years but in recent times, the longest format of the game has opened up to other nations like Ireland and Afghanistan.

One such team which has been working its way up the ranks is Bangladesh. However, before the subcontinental country became a force in cricket, they had to endure some hard times.

On this day, two years ago, Bangladesh were routed by West Indies within 112 balls, which is equivalent to less than 20 overs. However, it was just the second shortest Test innings by balls. On that note, we look at the five shortest first innings in Test cricket, on the basis of balls faced:

India | 76 vs South Africa | 120 balls | 2008

During the second Test of South Africa’s tour of India, the Indian team were subjected to humiliation by a compact bowling unit. Led by Dale Steyn, who picked up five wickets, the Indian batsmen were dismissed for 26 runs in just 120 balls, with only MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan reaching double figures.

They fought back in the second innings but succumbed yet again, losing the match by an innings and 90 runs.

New Zealand | 43 vs South Africa | 116 balls | 2013

New Zealand had to face humiliation during the first Test of their tour of South Africa in 2013, with Vernon Philander picking up five wickets this time around. The Kiwis were bundled off in 19.2 overs, with only Kane Williamson scoring 13 runs. They came very close to producing a fightback in the second innings while chasing down South Africa’s score but were dismissed 27 runs short of their target.

South Africa won the game by an innings and 27 runs.

Australia | 53 vs England | 113 balls | 1896

During the 1896 Ashes held in Lord’s, Australia were dismissed for a measly 53 runs in 22.3 overs (five-ball overs). Only Joe Darling, Syd Gregory and Charles Eady managed to touch double figures, with George Lohmann picking up six wickets for the hosts. He gave away 13 runs while his partner Tom Richardson picked up three wickets and conceded the remaining 39 runs.

Australia put up a massive fight in the second innings but it wasn’t enough as England went on to win the match by six wickets.  

Bangladesh | 43 vs West Indies | 112 balls | 2018

When Bangladesh toured West Indies in 2018, they were dismissed for 43 runs in just 18.4 overs. The Windies bowling unit was led by Kemar Roach. Roach picked up five wickets in five overs, giving away just eight runs. Liton Das from Bangladesh managed to score 25 runs, while Miguel Cummins and Jason Holder divided the rest of the wickets among themselves.

They managed to score 144 in the second innings but failed to overturn the deficit, losing the match by an innings and 219 runs.

Australia | 60 vs England | 111 balls | 2015

Stuart Broad was the orchestrator of this routing as he scalped eight wickets in 9.3 overs to dismiss their opponents Australia for 60 runs in 18.3 overs, or 111 balls. Only Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson managed to hit double figures as the Aussies collapsed.

While chasing down England’s 391 with the hope of getting something from the match, Australia succumbed at 253 runs, allowing the English team to win the match by an innings and 78 runs.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Randy Brooks

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